Sunak’s UK Budget marks ‘return to austerity’

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Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak’s UK Budget has been slammed by SNP leader Ian Blackford as a “return to austerity” since it fails to tackle inequality on spending and tax reductions.

Chancellor Sunak presented his Budget to the House of Commons on Wednesday night, unveiling major announcements to bolster the economy and lower taxes.

The SNP says the Budget signalled a “return to Tory austerity cuts” due to a massive public sector pay freeze, cliff edge Universal Credit cuts, and tax increases for millions of people.

The £20 Universal Credit increase was extended for another six months in the Budget, but the SNP has long argued that it should be made permanent.

SNP chief Ian Blackford said the Tory government had “left millions behind” during the pandemic and the Budget had failed to create a full 80 percent furlough scheme available for as long as it’s needed.

Despite Blackford’s criticism of the Budget, Scottish industry representatives have welcomed some changes, particularly the 6-month furlough extension.

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